Saturday, November 22, 2008
Christmas Is Coming
Well Halloween is over and the election behind us. So here in November, before we even get a chance to sit down and enjoy our Thanksgiving turkey, we can turn our thoughts to ... Christmas. Yes, even though it's weeks away, we must now all turn our attention to consumerism and profligate spending in the hopes of giving every national department store chain a profitable fourth quarter.
Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Department stores or profit, and I certainly don't have anything against Christmas; but I just got done being bombarded with political commercials leading up to the election and I would have preferred a short break before having it replaced by endless advertising for the latest big toy(s).
As for some of the other commercials, don't even get me started. I have had up to here with the ham-handed bludgeoning that masquerades as marketing campaigns in commercials trying to convince me that my loved ones will only be satisfied on Christmas by jewelry with large diamonds, a big screen TV, or a new car. (Of course if someone wants to leave that 42" flat panel under the tree for me, that's OK.)
My few consolations in the coming weeks will be presentations of "A Charlie Brown Christmas", "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (I just love that elf dentist), and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", along with a few of the great old black and white movies like "Holiday Inn", "A Christmas Carol" (almost every version), "It's a Wonderful Life", and " White Christmas". In between, I will overdose myself with with egg nog and cookies, and frequent repititions of all of the Mannheim Steamroller offerings and the James Taylor Christmas albums (I also have the soundtrack for Charlie Brown Christmas, but that's for special occasions) in the hopes of working up the proper state of mind. I likewise hope to find not just consolation, but indeed real joy in being able to visit with both children and grandchildren through the holiday season, though schedules these days are often more complex than any of us would like.
For it is only through the eyes of children (and especially grandchildren) that we truly understand the magic of Christmas. It is in their perfect happiness and wonder on Christmas morning that we get past the embarrassment of the Christmas party miscues, the insanity of Christmas shopping, and the anxiety that we feel over the added calories from a Christmas dinner or the candy that we pilfer from stockings.
But before I can begin to fully get myself in the spirit of the Holiday however, I must take a deep breath. Before I can take my place once again as the jolly old guy with a beard and a weight problem, I must find some serenity. Before I begin to obsess over my shopping list and have to brace myself for a trip or two to shopping malls that qualifies as torture under the rules of the Geneva convention, I must find a little piece of mind. While I do that, let me take just a moment to wish all of you some of the same. I have a feeling that we'll all need it.